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Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
 
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Confessions of an Economic Hit Man [Format Kindle]

John Perkins
4.5 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (4 commentaires client)

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John Perkins started and stopped writing Confessions of an Economic Hit Man four times over 20 years. He says he was threatened and bribed in an effort to kill the project, but after 9/11 he finally decided to go through with this expose of his former professional life. Perkins, a former chief economist at Boston strategic-consulting firm Chas. T. Main, says he was an "economic hit man" for 10 years, helping U.S. intelligence agencies and multinationals cajole and blackmail foreign leaders into serving U.S. foreign policy and awarding lucrative contracts to American business. "Economic hit men (EHMs) are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars," Perkins writes. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man is an extraordinary and gripping tale of intrigue and dark machinations. Think John Le Carré, except it's a true story.

Perkins writes that his economic projections cooked the books Enron-style to convince foreign governments to accept billions of dollars of loans from the World Bank and other institutions to build dams, airports, electric grids, and other infrastructure he knew they couldn't afford. The loans were given on condition that construction and engineering contracts went to U.S. companies. Often, the money would simply be transferred from one bank account in Washington, D.C., to another one in New York or San Francisco. The deals were smoothed over with bribes for foreign officials, but it was the taxpayers in the foreign countries who had to pay back the loans. When their governments couldn't do so, as was often the case, the U.S. or its henchmen at the World Bank or International Monetary Fund would step in and essentially place the country in trusteeship, dictating everything from its spending budget to security agreements and even its United Nations votes. It was, Perkins writes, a clever way for the U.S. to expand its "empire" at the expense of Third World citizens. While at times he seems a little overly focused on conspiracies, perhaps that's not surprising considering the life he's led. --Alex Roslin

From Publishers Weekly

Perkins spent the 1970s working as an economic planner for an international consulting firm, a job that took him to exotic locales like Indonesia and Panama, helping wealthy corporations exploit developing nations as, he claims, a not entirely unwitting front for the National Security Agency. He says he was trained early in his career by a glamorous older woman as one of many "economic hit men" advancing the cause of corporate hegemony. He also says he has wanted to tell his story for the last two decades, but his shadowy masters have either bought him off or threatened him until now. The story as presented is implausible to say the least, offering so few details that Perkins often seems paranoid, and the simplistic political analysis doesn’t enhance his credibility. Despite the claim that his work left him wracked with guilt, the artless prose is emotionally flat and generally comes across as a personal crisis of conscience blown up to monstrous proportions, casting Perkins as a victim not only of his own neuroses over class and money but of dark forces beyond his control. His claim to have assisted the House of Saud in strengthening its ties to American power brokers may be timely enough to attract some attention, but the yarn he spins is ultimately unconvincing, except perhaps to conspiracy buffs.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Tourments d'un être au coeur du pouvoir 11 septembre 2007
Par fathier
Format:Broché
D’abord, il me semble qu’il faut bien préciser que ce livre, d’un anglais facilement accessible, est avant tout une autobiographie, d’où une force et une faiblesse. La bonne surprise a été le plaisir de lecture, évident. La vie de John Perkins est assez fascinante en elle-même, il essaie constamment de prendre du recul – il analyse très bien, par exemple, les failles de sa personnalité qui ont attiré ses « recruteurs »-, et en même temps on le sent toujours baigné de cette culture d’entreprise ou de cabinets de consultants, exaltant l’accomplissement personnel, et ce même lorsqu’il aborde ses activités avec des peuples de l’Amazonie. Ceci est particulièrement marqué dans le chapitre final, « what can you do », qui fleure bon les cours de développement personnel. Tout ceci dresse un portrait complexe, assez brut, de Perkins. Là où l’ouvrage m’a déçu, c’est sur l’aspect de la réflexion. Perkins explique qu’il a été recruté par un cabinet nommé MAIN, aujourd’hui disparu, chargé par les grands organismes internationaux et notamment la Banque mondiale et le FMI, de réaliser des études sur l’impact de grands projets de construction, surtout dans les PVD. En fait d’études, il s’agissait surtout de gonfler les résultats escomptés de ces opérations, de manière à inciter ces PVD à accepter des prêts énormes de la part de ces grands organismes internationaux. De l’usage des consultants en tant qu’analystes prétendument neutres. Un grand classique. Lire la suite ›
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Intéressant mais... 14 février 2010
Format:Broché
Autobiographie passionnante. Facile à lire.
La teneur de ce livre n'était pas une révélation pour moi, elle pourrait toutefois l'être pour vous qui êtes en train de lire ce commentaire. Et dans ce cas elle sera de taille...

Toutefois, on peut reprocher à l'auteur que le lien qu'il établit avec la NSA semble un peu ténu. Au delà de l'environnement familial propice, tout repose sur "Claudine"...

Parfois des relents d'égotrip, mais ça se pardonne vite.

Un ouvrage nécessaire pour une lecture contemporaine des constructions d'empires.
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Un ouvrage décapant 18 juin 2010
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
L'auteur interrogé sur Dailymotion ou Youtube a résumé ce qu'il a écrit dans ses livres et explique comment certains états sont "rançonnés" à partir du moment où leurs richesses (économiques, minières, pétrolières) intéressent des superpuissances (l'Amérique, notamment).Mise en coupe réglée, asservissement à des puissances supérieures. La démonstration est saisissante.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Invasions barbares 22 mars 2012
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Pour ceux qui se demandent à quoi peut aujourd'hui ressembler l'impérialisme occidental, ce livre permet de comprendre un peu mieux le fonctionnement de notre civilisation. Le livre est d'autant plus intéressant qu'il décrit une période que nous sommes nombreux à avoir vécu.
A sa lecture, on comprend mieux ce qui motive la haine à notre égard d'une partie du Tiers-Monde, le terrorisme des années 70 et, bien sûr, les attaques dites du 9/11. Ceux qui auront connus les mêmes années que l'auteur, comprendront aussi combien les médias nous auront vendu l'Histoire sous couvert de menaces ou de romans à l'eau de rose.

Il s'agit ici d'une expérience personnelle de la part de l'auteur. Ce dernier n'aborde donc pas la question des Nations-Unis et de ces différents organes, et encore moins comment ces institutions chargées de faire respecter les droits de chacun sur cette planète permettent - "à leur insu" - l'entretien des grands intérêts financiers de ce monde.
Si on est familier avec les incursions de la CIA notamment en Amérique du Sud, la face cachée de pétrole voire les agissements d'un Kissinger pendant la guerre du Viêt-Nam, ce livre reste néanmoins intéressant pour sa dimension terre-à-terre.
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Amazon.com: 3.8 étoiles sur 5  1.148 commentaires
651 internautes sur 705 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 No proof required 26 avril 2005
Par Vaughn Taylor - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Many of the reviews here refute the truthfulness of this book because Perkins does not provide evidence for every one of his claims. But, this is precisely what makes the book an exciting and fast read. How can Perkins be expected to provide evidence for influencing events in other countries? Where should we expect to find documentation of these nefarious deeds? The inner workings of organizations like MAIN, Halliburtion, and Brown & Root are only ever known when a dissenter arises.

From my perspective, it all seems to add up. I lived in Ecuador in the 80s. I was young (18), and I didn't know much about politics at the time. I personally saw many of the projects that Perkins speaks of in this book. I heard the complaints from my Ecuadorian friends about how the U.S. was bankrupting their economy by "loaning" money for extensive construction projects. I saw the jungle along Rio Napo being deforested by unknown (to me) companies. I spent time in oil towns in the jungle -- like Shell. I saw the dam that Perkins speaks of in his book.

The only way to gather proof about the truthfulness of his claims is to see it first hand. Though I seriously doubt that most of us have the guts to travel to the places where these things happen. Denial, regarding these issues, seems terribly naive.
181 internautes sur 199 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The personal illuminates the global 20 novembre 2004
Par Judith Lautner - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
It is often the personal stories that tell the bigger truths. As with Barbara Ehrenreich's intensely personal Nickel and Dimed, Perkins' story illuminates a larger picture in a way that more scholarly treatises cannot match. I value the perspective I get from Noam Chomsky and Chalmers Johnson and many others who have written about our modern empire. None of these works, though, explains it from the ground up. Perkins does that.

In this book, written in spurts since the early 1980s, Perkins really does tell it like it is. This is the book I have been waiting for, the book that fills in the blanks left behind by the writers of global theories, the book that tells us how it really happens. It is one thing to read that the United States engineered ousters of democratically-elected leaders who did not do the bidding of our corporations. It is another to read of the actual steps that led to these actions. As one who likes to be able to visualize all the steps, I found great comfort in reading a well-written personal story that allows me to do this.

In this rightly-named confession, Perkins puts on his hair shirt and chastises himself as he explains how he gave in to temptation again and again over several decades, while he worked to build an American corporation's profits at the expense of third-world countries. He does not describe in detail the benefits he accrued from being Satan's handyman. We do not hear stories of his exploits with women, of his flaunting his power, the meat of a LifeTime movie. These fruits of his labor are glossed over in favor of greater descriptions of the occasional pangs of conscience.

Take it as a given, then, that Perkins was right for the job of economic hit man because he was so easily tempted by material wealth, power, and adulation. There was, in his character, though, a little hint of conscience. He was interested in the world's people, happy to learn other languages and ways of living, open to old as well as new ideas. Thus he was able to make a more honest comparison of the world according to global corporations and the world as seen and lived by indigenous people. And he was able to see that his work only benefitted the few. There was in him, as well, the radical view that a benefit to the few was not much of a benefit.

I can see this story translated successfully to the big screen; either as a documentary or as the story of one man. Two very different films; either would be dramatic and informative. There are scenes in this book that could have come from a Graham Greene novel (and let's not forget that Greene tells the truth through fiction): clandestine meetings, sudden flights to escape uprisings, epiphanies on the beach. By its nature, a memoir of this type cannot fully be documented. To the extent that it could be, it is, with many pages of notes and references. These private memories, though, may never be proven to be either true or false.

It is my greatest wish that Perkins is telling the whole truth all the way through. Even the smallest of fibs could tarnish a work of great importance, given our media's inability to see bigger pictures.

The real message, though, is clearly written and inescapable: this is not the story of "they", a "they" that can simply be removed from power. It is the story of us.
113 internautes sur 123 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 insightful modern history (+ further reading & suggestions) 4 mai 2005
Par David Evans - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
John Perkins gives a first-hand account of a world in which US corporations wildly overpredict the growth that will follow big infrastructure projects in the developing world, convincing aid organizations to give big loans for these projects, resulting in big projects (and big money) for American firms and crippling debt for poor nations.

Part of the book tells of his own experiences, generating false predictions and both giving and receiving bribes. The other part is a history of the role that US corporations (and, more subtly, the US government) play in eliminating hostile but strategically important leaders of developing countries and co-opting their nations' resources. (Those same leaders, hostile to US business, are often the champions of the poor in their countries.)

The history this book provides opened my eyes and made me want to read more on the subject. Thankfully, Perkins also provides extensive references for those who would like to read more on this, both providing an avenue for the curious reader and showing that he isn't the only witness to the new imperialism. The last few pages of the book also provide some practical suggestions for a reader to "do something" (and refuse to absolve us of collective guilt).

On the other hand, while the book claims to be a confession, massive page space is dedicated to Perkins's misgivings about what he was doing as he was doing it, to the point that it really feels like he's trying to let us know that he's not that bad a guy. That tone and the amount of time dedicated to it really wore me down as a reader. (Okay, okay, you were really torn, I get it.)

But overall, this was well worth the time, and I only hope I can carry some of its lessons with me.
349 internautes sur 401 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 For History look elsewhere, for a sound, engaging critique read it. 9 novembre 2004
Par Tomas Anthony - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
John Perkins was interviewed by Leonard Lopate on WNYC Radio in New York. You can listen to the interview and make your own decision about John's book.

[...]

Note: Although many other books have been written about how U.S. aid policy has been used as a means of manipulating foreign countries, the fact remains that John Perkin's book is from an insiders perspective. It exposes the truth behind how corporate greed has hijacked U.S. Foreign Policy. You can find many more books on the facts and history but for a sound, engaging critique read it.
211 internautes sur 248 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 American Centurion comes clean; sets example for us all 17 novembre 2004
Par Follow the Money - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I got Confessions of an Economic Hit Man yesterday and finished reading it today. It's a vital personal story that illuminates an entire global system. A system based on greed, power, and control. Others before Perkins have warned of this system, but usually not from an insider's perspective. If you're interested in more details David Korten has done the best job documenting how rich powerful corporations with the help of governments get richer at the expense of the poor who get poorer. This isn't a new idea. But in today's world, the major media refuse to report this story. Perkins understands the essence of the problem: empire, oppression, inequality, and greed can seem to bring benefits to some people in the short term ... but in the long term we all loose, even the rich. We are all spiritually harmed by the lies and rationalizations. We are all put at risk when the world becomes more polarized into haves and have-nots. Our humanity is undermined when we benefit from that which hurts others. Undoubtedly most perpetrators have convinced themselves that what they do is OK and even that they'll be able to avoid consequences. Their money and power will insulate them in their exclusive gated communities. John Perkins' real feat in this book is not exposing a corrupt system, but in providing an example of one person who was able to look into his life with a deep honesty and realize it was hurting him as well as prospects for the future of all people. All of us can learn from his awakening. Does driving a big SUV make us more secure? Happier? A better person? A better citizen?
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